Friday, 14 Dec 2018

Why political media talk about the most interesting part of midterms

Twice this week, President Trump has publicly complained about the coverage of the mid-term election results. He did it on Thursday night on Twitter, l & # 39; writing, with its idiosyncratic capitalizations, that the "Fake News Media" never mentions "the fact that Republicans, with the very important help of my Rallies campaign, have won the United States Senate, 53 to 47 years old? "

At a Friday event in Missouri, he said pretty much the same thing.

"I keep listening to the false news that says," They won the House! House – House – House, "he says. "Nobody ever talks about the Senate. We won the Senate easily. In fact, we picked up two, and it has not been done for a long time. For a president, you come, for whatever reason, it does not happen very often, and now we have the Senate, between 53 and 47, and we are very proud of it. But you never hear that. You only hear "House – House – House".

(He also complained to some candidates[ed] good "but then" choke[d] like dogs, "prompting him to think that he" had chosen the wrong person. "Identifying which of the losing Republican candidates he was referring to remains an exercise for the reader.)

Trump is wrong that the media never talk about the Republicans' victory in the Senate, of course. But that's not what he's complaining about. What he is complaining about is that the results of the Senate, the only good thing on election night, are not mainly what are the media talking about?

And there is a good reason for that. First, the results of the Senate were not really surprising. Secondly, the results of the House were largely – and they were more significant.

Consider the status of the challenges in the Senate during last month's elections. It was obvious that the Democrats had had a tougher fight, as they defended many more seats (a function largely related to the quality of their performance six years ago, in 2012). Thus, while most of the disputed seats were occupied by Democrats and most of the contested seats were considered safe for Democratic candidates, six Democratic seats were considered either leaning Republicans or eluded by Cook. were hot for Republicans.

Guess what: the Democrats won two Republican elections and the Republicans won three of the Democrats and that seat that was Republican leaned. Net gain for Republicans of two seats. More on that in a second.

Now, consider what happened in the House. There, every seat was in place – and it was the Republicans who made a significant ascent.

The result? Republicans have overthrown three seats – and Democrats 43.

Let's see this in another way. Last month, the Democratic Party won 54% of the vote in the House and 69% in the Senate. In both cases, this includes seats that would probably not have been overthrown by the other party, but it is nevertheless the results that have been achieved.

(On this map, light blue and light red indicate the seats of the net that have been turned over.)

Trump's claim that Republicans "won the Senate, 53-47" is inaccurate. Whereas the races on the ballot, the Republicans lost the Senate, 24-11.

Moreover, the influence in the House was more important historically. This was the fourth-biggest gain for both parties in 50 years and the second for Democrats since 1974. In summary, Democrats overturned 9% of the seats in the House that were up.

The Republican advance in the Senate was the first time since 1970 that a party of the president won two seats in a mid-term election cycle – but there are many qualifiers in this phrase, each decreasing its importance. Overall, Republicans toppled 6% of the disputed Senate seats.

But more importantly, nothing has really changed in the Senate. Republicans already controlled the Senate; The Democrats took control of the House. This is the biggest change coming in Washington, and that's largely why the media is discussing what it means.

Of course, Trump would prefer everyone to focus on the fact that, in a difficult climate for the Democrats, the Democrats did not do as well. But there are good reasons that it is not the attention of the media.


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